Champion competitive marksman Ken comes across an armored van robbery. He sees a policeman held hostage and shoots and kills four of the robbers. One of the robbers escapes and the ... See full summary »
The whole city is burning up during the hottest summer on record. Tempers flare, irrational feelings erupt and the impossible becomes possible. And in every corner of the city, love explodes like fireworks.
In the years after the Revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty in China and established the republic, China broken up into fiefdoms held by warlords, who are busy fighting each other. A ... See full summary »
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
Ching Wan Lau,
A special agent has for 8 years been deep undercover in Asia's lucrative organized crime trade as he plays protégé to one of the key players, Banker. Nick now has but he has started to feel loyalty to his new environment, and to the money.
In early 1997, mobsters Kwai Ching-hung, Yip Kwok-foon and Cheuk Tze-keung, whom have never met one another, are all in Hong Kong. Thereafter, rumour has it that Hong Kong's three most ... See full summary »
With the 30's Shanghai as background, the film is a gangs story, a romance story, a brotherhood story and a simple story, with a theme portraying the lust for power against brotherhood piety. The narrative is unrestricted with plots generally linear albeit that it is told in flashback. The story embeds complex relations among characters with such relations & revenges constituting parallel narratives for similarity and contrast. The narrative is framed from the perspective of Feng (Daniel Wu) and supplemented with ancillary perspective from the other lead, Mark (Chen Chang). Director Alexi Tan attempts to make it moderately stylistic by use of freeze action (not freeze frame), complete silence and some other cinematographic devices (obviously Tan restrains it from being overdone). Though the movie comes with strong leads and their fine staging, the diegesis is relatively weak and shallow in portraying the evolution of the key antagonists' personalities down the plots. Nevertheless, visual motif (flicking of cigarette on a cigarette box) is repeatedly used to reinforce the use of power and the desire for such. In terms of visuals, the film comes with replete elegant costumes and settings with Mckintoshes, western hats, suits and cuffed shirts' sleeves filling the mise-en-scenes. Fine mastering of lighting and shooting angles in the presence of both diegetic and non-diegetic music delivers a moody combination of visual and acoustic amusement to the audience. The gun-pointing scenes are fairly flamboyant in mounting up tension whilst sudden fires and zigzags of characters' motions bring occasional shocks to the audience and generate uncomfortable surprises to the audience. Yet the visual-acoustic artifice is less than sufficient to redress its shortcoming in the meek, if not weak, psychological coverage of the characters. The film is another product in which substance is subordinate to style.
11 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?